The big news today is the release of the transcript of the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
On today’s Jay Sekulow Live, we went through the just released transcript line by line to really understand what actually occurred – and it wasn’t what the media and the supposed “whistleblower” said. We also discussed how Nancy Pelosi’s statement yesterday on the “Impeachment Inquiry” didn’t actually do anything new.
Before we got into the transcript, I wanted to start with a predicate, and the predicate is that Nancy Pelosi had a press conference yesterday regarding the impeachment inquiry, but is very important for everyone to understand what they did not do.
This inquiry has been going on for months now. There was the procedural vote recently that didn’t change a thing. Remember that they made noise about that. The reality is that nothing changed after that or after the statement Nancy Pelosi made yesterday.
As ACLJ Director of Government Affairs Thann Bennett explained in his analysis of her statement:
Nothing changed. If you play back statements from the committee chairman, they stated that this inquiry has been going on for months and the Speaker didn’t do anything to change that. Historically speaking, every time an impeachment inquiry has been launched against a sitting President, the House floor has passed a resolution with the full House voting directing the Committees to act.
The tangible action she could have taken was to schedule that vote and she did not. I think that if she were going to do that and had the votes she would have scheduled that. The announcement in it of itself did not functionally change a single thing that the committees are doing.
There has not been a referral to the floor of the House for a recommendation. My position is: functionally, nothing has changed.
Next we went through the transcript, line by line, which I encourage you to read for yourself.
We began with the fact that what was released today is a memorandum, not an exact word for word quote. Here’s what the disclaimer, directly from the document, says:
CAUTION: A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation.· (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty "Officers and-NSC policy staff assigned to listen and memorialize the conversation in written form as the conversation takes place. A number of factors can affect 'the accuracy of the record, including poor telecommunications connections and variations in accent and/or interpretation. The word "inaudible" is used to indicate portions of a conversation that the notetaker was unable to hear.
As we went through the document it became clear that there was no there there. As ACLJ Senior Counsel Andy Ekonomou explained:
This was simply a call between the President of the United States, the leader of the most powerful and influential country in the world, and the President of Ukraine, President Zelensky. He (President Trump) is simply congratulating him, as protocol would require – as it would seem to me, congratulating him on his election victory. President Zelensky is responding very cordially saying ‘thank you very much’, we took a page out of your way of approaching things politically. Please call me again. In other words it’s a good way of beginning a cordial relationship.
ACLJ Senior Military Analyst Col. Wes Smith’s take was that this was a very unremarkable phone call. ACLJ Director of Government Affairs Thann Bennett agreed.
This is so unremarkable that they discussed foreign aid and that European countries are not contributing enough. This is something the President campaigned on. He’s already had that conversation with the American people and it is unremarkable that he’s had it with the president of Ukraine.
Where the issue of foreign aid came up was that the President pointed out to Zelensky the lack of support from the Europeans and the disproportionate support from the United States.
ACLJ Senior Counsel and Director of Policy Prof. Harry Hutchison emphasized: “It is very important to note that supporting Ukraine is very helpful should any future conflict erupt between Ukraine and Russia.”
The Ukrainian president also mentioned buying more Javelins, which Col. Smith explained are anti-tank missiles and how important it is for Ukraine to have them. Remember that Ukraine has been invaded by Russia.
Prof. Hutchison had three takeaways from the transcript:
If you read the transcript carefully, there is no evidence that the President received A – anything of value, B – sought anything of value, and thirdly, even the Washington Post agrees that there is no evidence for instance of quid pro quo. It is important for listeners to understand that an objective impartial analysis of the transcript does not support the narrative that you may or may not hear on television or in the so-called mainstream press.
There was no quid pro quo. There was nothing of value here. It is important to note that because it negates the idea of campaign violations.
When you analyze something, you actually have to look at the words and that is what we did on the show today.
For my full, line by line analysis of the transcript you can listen to the entire episode here.
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